February 29, 2012 -- Response crews continue 24-hour operations to steam thaw and remove drilling mud from the drilling rig in order to access the essential drilling rig components needed for the well-kill operation.
Temperatures remain extremely cold with a -71°F wind chill, so outside equipment continues to be shut down. However, work inside the rig continues.
Lights and electrical heat are energized in parts of the rig. Crews are continuing the cleaning and drying of the rig's power components, a critical step in the eventual re-start of the rig.
The re-start of the rig is one in a series of steps in the progression needed for completion of the well-kill operation. However, due to the need for a very methodical and careful cleaning and drying of the rig's power components, the time of the re-start cannot be determined at this time.
Repsol reports that 232 barrels (9,744 gallons) of liquids (thawed drilling mud and water) were shipped offsite for disposal in the past day, bringing the total to 1,666 barrels (69,972 gallons) of liquids that have been manifested and shipped offsite. Much of the liquid being collected is condensed water from the steam used to thaw the frozen drilling mud. Due to the extremely cold temperatures, no solid wastes were manifested or shipped offsite yesterday.
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